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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,306 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,306
Reviews: 2,733
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 160
Gots: 1,169 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,306 | Reviews: 2,733 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hckyfn9999
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color with a two finger head that doesnt last too long but leaves some decent lacing.

Smell is of grain along with some citrusy hops, along with some sweetness.

Taste is citrusy. Grapefruit is definitely present along with a little spice and some pale malt as well.

Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is also very good.

A very solid APA and a good session beer.

hckyfn9999, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of Ragingbull
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is another one that I would put on the "tough to review" list because of its familiarity. I had been drinking this long before a wide variety of microbrews became available likely due its wide distribution. Here is my attempt.

Rich roasted gold color with light head and some prickle. Mildly hoppy nose. Hops forward flavor and almost a hoppy attack. I am guessing the nose affects the initial attack as the smells from the glass impact the flavor. It stays hoppy through the finish but in a mild way. The aftertaste allows the hops to fade with a bubbly mouthfeel that dries and vanishes. My wife offered the comment that the aftertaste made her feel as if she had just licked an envelope. This beer is certainly one to throw in the cooler for a backyard BBQ, but it isn't likely one that I will keep on hand in my beer fridge. I think that I find myself lumping into the "old standards" by which everything else is judged and would have to call it average for that very purpose. There are going to be better beers and far worse beers. If you have nothing else to choose from you won't be disappointed, but if there is something else on the menu you haven't tried its probably worth trying the new beer.

Ragingbull, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Country Corner in Setauket, NY. Served in a pint glass. Its been quite some time since I've had a Sierra Nevada pale ale and I don't think I've ever given it a fair shake on tap, so here we go.

Look: copper body with a thin, slightly off white head. Good retention and good lacing.

Smell: a little grain with a good amount of citrusy hop aroma, and the Cascade hops really stand out to me. Simple but inviting.

Taste: grapefruity, citrusy, fruity hops and a little caramel maltiness to balance it out but keeping it hop forward. One of the more aggressively hopped straight up pale ales you will find and for that I am grateful.

Feel: medium bodied, dry with a lingering hop bitterness, carbonated well, refreshing and a good beer for a session.

Overall: good beer. No wonder it has stood the test of time. Drinks light a light IPA rather than an APA and thats definitely a good thing, since APAs typically leave me wanting more. If you haven't gotten around to this beer yet, what are you waiting for?! Cheers!

SkunkWorks, May 11, 2011
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a six pack at L&L in lansing, michigan. ($9.76 w/ tax & depost.)
pours a brilliant golden with a copperish hue has a nice fluffy white head that has stanma.
the aroma is citusy with a hint of pine little sweet.
the flavor is citrus, malt, resin, spicy, and clean
i live SNPA it is a baseline standard for other american pales to be judged by. clean refreshing perfectly hopped.

plaztikjezuz, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a classic American brew. SNPA pours a golden honey colour with a fluffy white head that sticks to the side of the glass. The nose is sweet but citrusy and spicy with hops. The taste is bigger than most any widely available brew. Plenty of bittering hops, plenty of aroma hops, and plenty of malt to balance it all out.

DaveFL1976, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of ScubaSteve00
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

ScubaSteve00, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of McBraniel
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

McBraniel, May 02, 2013
Photo of cwreay90
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

cwreay90, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of fx20736
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Coppery amber, lazy carbonation with a khaki 2 finger head that leaves plumes of lacing.

Aroma: Restrained Grapefruit & pine resin

mouthfeel: slightly flat but fairly acceptable.

taste: broad field of crackery malt plowed by a balanced mixture of citrus and piney hops. Beer finishes dry and refreshing.

Notes: So many American Pale Ales aim for this. Sierra Nevada gets there. Well balanced, enough malt to anchor the hops, enough hops to refresh and delight. Like the other Sierra Nevada beers I have tried this one says quality.

fx20736, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of jschonert
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

jschonert, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of a_beckman25
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

a_beckman25, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of 2Xmd
4/5  rDev -1%

2Xmd, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of Jackal
4/5  rDev -1%

Jackal, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of TheBungyo
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Is it fair to call this beer the granddaddy of Pale Ale's in the US? I'm not sure but I will anyway. I get a massive 2 inch head from my gentle pour (2 inches is too much in my oh so humble opinion) and a scant bit of lacing. Body is a shade below amber. Nose is pretty faint but brings to mind sweet caramel and grapefruit hops. Taste is at first sweet, then bitter then full of caramel and grapefruit. Very nice balance. Neither the malt nor the hops outshine the other. Mouth is rich and full. If you want to session a pale ale this is the one for you.

TheBungyo, May 18, 2006
Photo of elniko
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into pint glass

A: Deep amber hue, finger of head that dissipated. Can see relatively high carbonation as well.

S: Great smell, citrusy and grassy textures. Definitely whets the appetite.

T & M: For some reason I've overlooked this beer since I've gotten into craft beers and I'm not quite sure why. I guess it is because it is one of the standards and original in the field. This is a darn good beer. My only complaint is that I wish it was just slightly hoppier. It does have a great mix of malt and hops. Mouthfeel solid as well, lingers on the palate.

D: Highly drinkable, this is a beer that could definitely be sessioned. I continue to be impressed by Sierra Nevada.

elniko, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of Los1324
4/5  rDev -1%

Los1324, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of Carpentiere
4/5  rDev -1%

Carpentiere, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of BigGold
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

BigGold, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of dfried
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If I had to choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, I would flat out go crazy. But if I could put together a short list of them, this would be my first entry. When I want to enjoy a beer on a hot summer day, this is the first that comes to mind. It has been there for me so many times when I am blind drunk at 1:30am at the bar. Its exquisite pale/mildly-hoppy flavor makes for a truly tasty beer that can be enjoyed in one at a time, or many at a time.

dfried, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of SamN
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly hazy light golden color, great thick bubbly head. Lots of active carbonation. Good looking beer, but the head is the crown here. Just crazy bubbly and rich and foamy.

S- No doubt about it, this is a pale ale. Effective hop aroma, but backed with a crisp sweetness. Weak aroma, could've been stronger.

T- Mmm, so freakin' tasty. So balanced you don't expect the pronounced hops finish. Not overpowering, but it's noticeable. Stout malt backbone provides a solid foundation for the playful hops. Florals, sweet breads, herbal bitterness, very slightly dry finish. Solid taste, a very well made beer here.

M- Crisp tiny bubbles, nothing too much, it's all nicely played down to let the flavors do their thing. Medium light body with a pleasent mellowness. Not sticky bitterness left over.

D- Very high. It's great, had this with a spicy lobster cayenne bisque, and it was the perfect pair. A pale ale that I can session with without getting worn out on hops overload.

Great beer, another hit from Sierra Nevada.

SamN, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This one pours a hazy golden color with about 2 fingers worth of head. A bunch of tiny bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.
S- The thing that jumps out at me is the zest of the ale. The smell of grapefruit is pretty predominant. Also a hint of yeast.
T- This is a pretty good example of a pale ale. Grapefruit can be picked out right away. There may also be some other fruit like orange in there and a hint of yeast.
M- Pretty good overall, a nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation and a little bit of bite from the perceived grapefruit.
D- I could have a few of these but I think after that my taste buds would be a little worn out.

Wisconsinality, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light clear amber orange, a little more subtle than I expected. Decent head but it faded quickly.

Light aroma of ???

Taste is actually just what a beer should taste like and the feel is, well....rather nice. Carbonated enough for just a light belch.

Drinkable? You bet. I think this is actually the flavor level I'm at in my beer evolution; anything less would be unappreciated. My highest review so far has been an EPA and with liking this taste so much I suspect I may be a pale ale kinda dude for now.

I love a good beer on an empty stomach. Puts just the right amount of fuzz into the mind.

Overall: good stuff.

PatronWizard, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of BugTownPub
5/5  rDev +23.8%

BugTownPub, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of Bromine
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Bromine, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of LMH88
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

LMH88, May 10, 2013
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,306 ratings.